Understanding Specific Gravity of Lumber

Kansas City lumber

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Specific gravity is a term used in woodworking and construction that describes the density of wood compared to water. The specific gravity of wood varies greatly between species and helps to determine which type of wood is ideal. You should consider a species’ gravity before selecting wood for your next project.

Denser woods tend to swell and shrink more than less dense varieties. This affects the ease of painting the wood species and has an impact on dimensional changes. The standard gravity measurement is 1.0, meaning that a species with this measure is equally as dense as water.  Species with a lower gravity, such as birch or poplar, have densities lower than 1.0. Higher density wood species have a gravity measurement above 1.0, including brown ebony and snakewood.

Schutte Lumber is proud to serve as a premier Kansas City lumber provider. Contact us today to learn more about the different species of woods we offer and to get inspiration for innovative home design projects.

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